A fire is one of the most frightening hazards you could face on a boat. A blaze could threaten both your safety and that of your passengers. And a hull fire could devastate your finances.
Boat insurance will likely cover you should an accidental fire occur aboard your craft. But if you could have prevented the fire — or your actions helped cause it — you might not qualify for coverage. This is the case because most policies exclude negligent actions that lead to onboard fires.
Therefore, you need to protect yourself and your boat from fire risks. Doing so can help you better protect the craft.
To reduce the risk of a boat fire:
- Regularly maintain and protect the boat's mechanical systems. If your boat comes with an engine, clean the system regularly. Change the oil on schedule and only fill it with approved fuel. Also, keep the engine protected during sailing. This usually means closing and securing the engine casing or hatch before sailing. It can help prevent water from entering the system. Fully shut down and cool these systems after use.
- Check the boat's electrical system before and after every use. Test your instrument panel, exterior lights and interior lights frequently. If you see light failures, change the bulb. If the problem persists, you could be facing a more serious problem — and you should consider repairs.
- When cleaning or servicing your boat, only use non-flammable and low fume materials. Make sure you rinse the boat thoroughly to prevent potentially dangerous materials from polluting a water source.
- Do not keep flammable items exposed to heat. These may include gas canisters or even ropes, sails and oil. Store these items appropriately during and after use.
- Never make an open flame on your boat unless you have the resources to do so. Some high-end boats might come with built-in fireplaces, grills or torches. However, unless your boat has a devoted area for fires, do not attempt to make one.
- Put a fire intervention plan in place on the boat. The first thing to do is to keep a fire suppressant system in place. This may include emergency hoses, sprinklers, sand bags or fire extinguishers.
- After establishing a fire intervention system, instruct passengers in how to operate it. Additionally, always tell your passengers how to prevent fires aboard the boat. Strictly enforce your fire prevention rules.
With the correct protection, you can prevent fires on your boat. And if a fire does break out, your boat insurance will likely cover the damages.
We've got you covered. Call Affordable Insurance Group at (803) 798-4499 for a free Columbia SC boat insurance quote.